Stevens rides Oxbow to third Preakness win

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Updated: 5/18/2013 9:40 pm
BALTIMORE (WTVA/AP) - Gary Stevens came out of retirement for the chance to get back in the winner's circle in a Triple Crown race.

He accomplished his goal Saturday in the Preakness.

Stevens, a grandfather who retired in 2005 because of knee problems, rode Oxbow to an upset victory on a horse saddled by 77-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

"To win a classic at 50 years old after seven years retirement, it doesn't get any better than this," Stevens said. "It's even more special winning it for Wayne Lukas and his team."

It was Stevens' third career victory in the Preakness, the first since 1997 on Silver Charm.

Stevens led from start to finish and won the race to end Orb's bid for the Triple Crown.

Orb came up short in the Preakness, frustrating everyone who made the Kentucky Derby winner a 3-5 favorite - no one more than trainer Shug McGaughey.

"I'm disappointed," McGaughey said after Orb finished fourth and Oxbow pulled off the upset Saturday. "I'll be more disappointed tomorrow than I am right now. I know the game. It is highs and lows. Probably more lows than highs."

McGaughey and Orb were certainly on a high in the two weeks since the Derby. The colt had trained sensationally ahead of the Preakness, fanning hopes that a horse was finally going to end the Triple Crown drought that dates back to Affirmed in 1978.

Orb needed a Preakness win to set the stage for a Triple Crown try three weeks later in the Belmont Stakes. He couldn't deliver, despite the outpouring of support at Pimlico as fans cheered loudly when he led the post parade.
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